May the 4th Be With You!

It is a sad thing that I am not actively participating in any Star Wars activities with stitching or building legos, but I’m trying to not do any activities that might make my shoulder mad(er). Hopefully, I will be back to fun activities soon!

Instead of making loads of progress on my cross stitch of America Land That We Love or building Diagon Alley I am spending a great deal of time reading. I am a fan of crime fiction have never read the works of Agatha Christie. In the past couple of weeks I finished the first Poirot and the first Miss Marple. She certainly keeps you guessing! Another finish for me was the first book of the Narnia series, The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis.

All of them were wonderful reads and the best part is that there are several more books for each! It absolutely thrills me when I “discover” an excellent series.

In honor of Star Wars Day, Lego released Luke’s Landspeeder as part of the Ultimate Collector Series! I placed my order and they had some fun freebies to go with…. a small AT-ST and the Lars Homestead Kitchen. If you are a member of or sign up for the VIP program you will also get a Mandalorian Beskar key chain with purchase. Sorry to sound like an advertisement, but I really find the free add-ons to be be fun. (I admit, I was a little disappointed that they didn’t bring back Luke’s light saber -or another version- to go with the Landspeeder.)

I hope to be back to stitching and building in a week or two.

Stay safe, wear a mask and get your vaccine!

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America Land That We Love – Stitch! Stitch! Stitch!

The title says it all. I am mentally ready to move on so I am stitching almost exclusively on America Land That We Love. The lone exception is the DMC challenge.

It looks fabulous!! I have caught up and am a little ahead of the schedule. I am stitching Ohio which is week 36 (state 35), this is currently week 32 of 52. My hope is to complete two states every week, that would have me finishing in June.

America Land That We Love by Jean Farish

When I look at the group posts, I saw someone stitched all the box frames first and I toyed with that idea. I will continue on, stitching each state in total before I move on the the next. The actual box is a nice area of mindless cross stitch or back stitch that I look forward to, not enough to get bored but enough to show some progress with little effort.

The hearts in the signature boxes are probably going to remain hearts but I continue to look for other ideas. That is something I will ask Jean about at the next zoom meeting, I will see if she has any ideas.

I don’t have a pic of the DMC 52 week challenge, next time. It is starting to look even more ridiculous than it did before. It will be something for future generations so say “What in the world was she thinking?”

I have made no progress on my current Lego, Diagon Alley. Suffice it to say my shoulders have been sad. Maybe next week.

Stay safe, wear your mask and get you vaccine and boosters! I got my second booster last week and continue to wear my mask!!

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Cross Stitch #ALTWL and Legos

The majority of my crafty time is spent with cross stitch and at least one day a week building legos. I have made some great progress on both!!

Welcome to Diagon Alley….

Diagon Alley – Building Set 2 (front)
Diagon Alley – Building Set 2 (back)
Diagon Alley – Building Set 3 (front in progress)
Diagon Alley – Building Set 3 (back in progress)

Building Diagon Alley has been fun! Building set 2 has Quality Quidditch and the Daily Prophet and is complete, I did have to make an adjustment as I was writing this entry. It wasn’t until I was editing the photo for the blog that I noticed that the building sign read “Quidditch Quality” rather than Quaility Quidditch. I continue to be amazed at what I see that is captured by a camera. It has been finished for a couple of weeks and no one noticed!

Building set 3 is still in progress and should be finished this week on Lego building day (usually Sunday). The great details are always a surprise! Set 3 includes Florean Fortesuce’s Ice Cream Parlor and Flourish & Blotts.

Becoming a single project stitcher is not usually my mode of operation but I feel I must do that to keep from having America Land That We Love (#ALTWL) dominate the rest of the year. I am currently stitching New Jersey, state number 30. I expect to have it completed today.

I am already thinking about the corner blocks that will have my name and the date the piece is completed. The issue is the hearts….. I changed the hearts in the top banner to stars and really like the change. For comparison, this is the piece finished by the designer, Jean Farish..

In the corner blocks at the bottom she uses hearts to fill out the block and I really don’t think I want to use them. At the moment I plan to use my full name for two rows in the left block and the date and location (two rows) in the right block, no hearts. Perhaps it will look fine with two full rows….. but if it needs something else there is no room for a decent star. I have a few weeks before I get there.

Stay safe. Wear a mask and get your booster(s).

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Springing Into Organizing

When spring arrives my internal clock seems to want to organize. Usually I can keep it small, contained and short. Like most stitchers, I have more projects than can be finished in multiple lifetimes. This is how it starts….

I should have taken pictures of the totes when they were open and spilled all over the room as I sorted and cataloged. It is overwhelming! After a few days into the project, my son suggested that I add a qr code to each tote that links it to a list of the contents. Great idea!?! Well, yes it is. But…. it requires quite a bit of time to list each and every item. I know this because I started with bound needlepoint project books and I am now sure that it could take me a year!

A past organizing project included taking a photo of each item and posting it to my pinterest. It created a fun way to look at the contents of my resource center (aka stash). Unfortunately, I failed to put a title or description on many items and that makes it impossible to do a decent search. Even after adding titles and locations, the search feature is lacking, making the qr idea more attractive. If you want to take a look at my pinterest you will find it here.

My goal is to get the contents listed and be able to cross reference from the totes to my pinterest in a more usable way.

I did complete a couple more states on America Land That We Love (Jean Farrish) and am working on Michigan, week 23 of the sal. Having a finish for each state feels like a little party, they are coming out so nice.

As my oldest (translate as oldest accessible) wip, My Pink House (Ewe & I & Friends) is looking wonderful. I was really concerned about the pale color selection. Even though the instructions for all EEF projects state to use one strand, most of my recent projects are stitched using two strands of floss on everything but 40 count. This kit came with 35 count linen, if I started it today, I would definitely use 2 strands. I like the coverage a little plump.

The DMC project is quite a funky sight…

Time to get back to stitching…

Stay safe, wear a mask and get your vaccine.

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Still Stitching … No Finish In Sight

The projects continue on…

This is my progress on America Land That We Love. I had stalled a little but am back to finishing at least one state per week and trying for more. I am currently on Maryland which was week 21. That puts me about 5 weeks behind. I am stitching with the Facebook group, Magical Stitches Mystery Year and as a result I am using many of the prompts that keep projects in rotation. With ALTWL, there are so many different elements in the design, it fits many of the prompts.

America Land That We Love as of 8 March 2022

This is the comparison that shows just how much is added with minimal backstitch. The top is before backstitch, the bottom is after

I am hopeful that I will finish My Pink House in 2022 since I put the date on the sampler! The Magical Stitches group has an out if you don’t have a project that fits the prompt, you can either stitch on your oldest WIP or stitch on anything you want with an additional 100 stitches. This is the oldest WIP I could find. I’m certain that there are a couple older needlepoint projects but for cross stitch I think this is it.

Lego building continues with Diagon Alley. This first amazing section is complete …

Stay safe by wearing a mask and getting your vaccine!

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Progress is Great!

The choices I have selected this year are really nice but I want a finish! America Land That We Love is coming along nicely but I am still several states behind the stitch a long schedule. This is week 24 for the SAL but I am at week 17. I am finishing up Kansas and only have back stitch left. As much as I mentally complain about back stitching it really makes the blocks pop! I will post a side by side of Kansas in the next post.

My Pink House is looking sweet. I think I am finished making changes and am back to following the pattern. I really tend to gravitate to pastels and that is likely what drew me to this kit. It looks lovely up close, but from a distance one of the colors totally fades into the background. I will not be ripping to change the color. All in all, I am content with how it looks. The camera has not been able to capture the true colors of this piece, the fabric is a pale green and the alphabet is stitched in shades of mauve, border and dividing band are greens.

I have continued on with the DMC 52/52 challenge. The sampler feels like a wonderful choice for this challenge and I can’t wait to see the funky finish. I expect that I will finish this sampler at about 25 colors and plan to stitch another simple sampler for the remaining colors.

Diagon Alley looks fabulous, the detail is so much fun. I work on it on Sundays only, I am definitely dragging it out but am really enjoying the journey.

Stay safe by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask!!

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Stitching…. Olympic Stitching…. Retirement Stitching

It is official, I am retired. Well…. almost retired. My last day of work was 31 January 2022. I still have some personal holidays and vacation that needs to be posted, then I will truly be retired.

As usual, I managed to make my shoulders (yes, both) mad and they are slowly getting better. That means soon there will be more stitching, crafting, and legos!

This is the first time in years that I do not have a designated olympic project and that feels wrong. Maybe because of my sad shoulders, but I’m just not feeling it this time. Hopefully I will feel inspired before the week is over!

In spite of myself, I am trying to get at least one or two lengths of thread into a project daily. I stitch using a timer for 10 minutes and then get up, walk around, relax my shoulders and do other things for at least an hour. The first photo is from the DMC challenge. There are now six colors stitched and while I would not do a sampler like this by design, it really is sort of fun to see it take shape.

DMC challenge – stitching on 28 count natural linen, 2 over 2

Also back in my stitching box is My Pink House from Eye and Eye and Friends. I have made several changes and until it is done I won’t know if they were good choices. So far, I like it.

My Pink House – stitching on 35 count linen, one over 2 with Anchor

Last picture! My small start on Diagon Alley by Lego. It is a large project that I will probably spend a while building. There are 5544 pieces and it is so colorful it will be fun!

Diagon Alley by Lego

Stay safe! Wear a mask and get your vaccine!

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New Week … Same Projects

Two more states are complete… Illinois and Indiana. I’m still five weeks behind the stitch a long and was determined to finish two states per week until I catch up, after this week – never mind.

I will continue to try to stitch one state a week. I have too many other things I want to do and don’t want to become weary of this great project.

America Land That We Love

This is the DMC challenge project that uses 52 colors, one color each week, 100 stitches minimum for each color. This has been fun and 100 stitches per week is very manageable.

That’s it for today! Wear your mask and get your vaccine!

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Twelve States Stitched

Two more states are finished on America Land That We Love as I try to catch up, again.  This makes a total of twelve states stitched, the goal for the sal is one per week and I am about 5 weeks behind.

I am trying to put in 1000 stitches per week. This week I was able to put in almost 1500 stitches using 3 different projects. For America Land That We Love I completed 1209.

For the DMC challenge, I put in 106 stitches….

I added 172 stitches to My Pink House ….

My Lego of the week is the BrickHeadz kit 40412, Hagrid & Buckbeak.

The next Lego build will be Diagon Alley, it looks so colorful and fun!

picture from lego.com

Don’t forget to wear your mask! If you have been thinking about getting your covid vaccine, please get it done to protect yourself, family, friends and community.

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Legos and Stitching

It just occurred to me that I have never looked for a cross stitch pattern for Legos. Another idea for my never ending to-do list!

This is my latest Lego finish. This is the AT-ST Raider from The Mandalorian, kit #75254. The kit has 540 pieces and includes 4 minifigures. This was a fun build!

This is my small start on the Peacock Spot Sampler from Ewe and Eye and Friends. It is a kit that came with 35 count linen and DMC, it is stitched one over two.

Peacock Spot Sampler from Ewe and Eye and Friends

This start is for a stitching challenge that uses 52 different DMC colors, The challenge is to use one color per week, in the order they have been listed, for a minimum of 100 stitches. I selected a marking sampler called Anne Pierce Drown from Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly and will simply change colors as I go. I am stitching on 32 count natural linen, two over two.

Anne Pierce Drown

Stay safe …. get your covid vaccine and wear a mask!

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